Immunoelectron microscope localization of snRNP, hnRNP, and ribosomal proteins in mouse spermatogenesis

Mol Reprod Dev. 1993 Jul;35(3):261-71. doi: 10.1002/mrd.1080350308.


We have studied the ultrastructural distribution of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), and ribosomal proteins during mouse spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis by means of specific antibodies and immunocytochemistry. All the above components were detectable from primary spermatocytes until the spermatid elongation phase, when the RNA synthetic activity is known to cease. Ribosomal protein (P1/P2 and L7) labeling disappeared as early as during the acrosome phase, and nucleoli were no longer labeled even during the cap phase. The nucleoplasmic structures labeled with the different anti-nucleoplasmic RNP immunoprobes corresponded, until the acrosome phase, to those previously observed as targets of the same antibodies in the nucleoplasm of somatic cell nuclei. Clusters of interchromatin granules of spermatocyte and early spermatid nuclei exhibit some labeling for hnRNP when compared with nuclei of Sertoli cells or previously analyzed liver or tissue culture cells, where these structural constituents usually remain weakly labeled or unlabeled. In spermatids in step 10, another type of nuclear granule, resembling perichromatin granules, but occurring in aggregates, can be observed. These structural constituents were labeled with antibodies recognizing nucleoplasmic snRNP antigens and therefore suggesting a non-nucleolar origin of these granules. Finally, we have observed nucleoplasmic areas of fibrogranular material, occurring only in primary spermatocytes. These components were labeled with anti-ribosomal protein antibodies but did not contain either hnRNPs or snRNPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acrosome / metabolism
  • Acrosome / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred A
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sertoli Cells / metabolism
  • Sertoli Cells / ultrastructure
  • Spermatids / metabolism
  • Spermatids / ultrastructure
  • Spermatocytes / metabolism
  • Spermatocytes / ultrastructure
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology*


  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear
  • Ribosomal Proteins